5 Tips to Hack Your Meal Prep

fitness, Food & Nutrition, Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement, Uncategorized, Workout Wednesday
5 Tips to Hack Your Meal Prep

When you’re loading up the calendar with workouts, family time, friend events and work projects, it’s likely that “make delicious, healthy meals” tumbles too easily down the to-do list. While there are some good grab-and-go options, let’s face it: There are only so many prepared salads and protein bars you can eat before they get boring.

“When you get tired of what you’re eating, that’s when you usually begin to make food choices that you’re not happy about later,” says Melissa Joulwan, author of the popular “Well Fed” cookbook series. “Taking some time every week for meal prep can help keep it interesting.”

By setting aside time for preparing meals and ingredients in advance, you’ll not only zap food boredom, but also have greater control over putting more vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats into your rotation. Best of all, you don’t have to sacrifice a whole day for the effort. Here are some shortcuts Joulwan uses for her own weekly cookup:

1. SCHEDULE THE TIME

Count on about 2–3 hours for the prep, but it doesn’t need to be done all at once. For example, you can do 90 minutes on Sunday morning and 90 more on Wednesday night. The most important aspect is to put it on the schedule and stick to it, so it becomes a habit. For those who have a weekend farmers market nearby, scheduling meal prep for just after shopping can be an easy way to incorporate more veggies into your meals.

2. PREP YOUR EQUIPMENT FIRST

Before she does any chopping or cooking, Joulwan takes out all the utensils and equipment she needs for the effort. For example, she puts several cutting boards on the counter, locates measuring cups, sharpens knives, gets out large mixing bowls and sets up the food processor. Think of it as the “kitchen stadium” approach, where everything you need to use is handy. That 10 minutes of finding everything first saves plenty of time compared to taking out equipment as you need it.

3. THINK INGREDIENTS INSTEAD OF MEALS

There are two main ways to do meal prep — either you create whole meals and put them in containers, or you focus on ingredients that can be thrown together quickly. Joulwan prefers the latter approach, because it allows her to be more creative, and to eat according to her mood. She focuses on “convenience foods” that can be transformed into a variety of meals. These include roasted chicken, hard-boiled eggs, homemade mayo, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice, chopped lettuce and roasted vegetables. When these components are stored in the fridge, meals usually take only 5–10 minutes to prepare, she says.

4. GET SAUCY

Roasted chicken and cauliflower rice with an Indian vindaloo sauce is a very different meal than the same basic ingredients with a Jamaican jerk sauce. To keep tastes interesting, consider spending some prep time creating sauce blends or simply purchase some to have on hand. As with any prepared food, check the ingredients to make sure the sauces aren’t high in sugar or preservatives.


5. PUT THE TUNES ON

When she does meal prep, Joulwan listens to either ‘80s, new wave or Broadway musical soundtracks, so she’s singing and dancing the entire time. If you’re more the movie type, put on one you’ve already seen (since you’ll be looking down while you work) and will love hearing again, or play some podcasts on interesting topics.

“Your time in the kitchen should be productive, but also fun,” says Joulwan. “The more you can make meal prep time enjoyable, the more you’ll look forward to doing it. Rather than see prep as a chore, think of it as a way to make amazing, healthy food for the week ahead, in a way that feels like a fun break from your busy schedule.”

by: ELIZABETH MILLARD

Happy Memorial Day Beautiful!

Food & Nutrition, Motivation, Inspiration and Encouragement, Uncategorized

Lots of food

It feels great to have a this day off from work to remember the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.

But before I start singing America the beautiful lol! I wanted to help you get through today without breaking your fitness goals. That was one of my BIGGEST problems, (and secretly still is) using the holidays as a reason to over eat, setting myself back on my goals!

So what I’ve learned to do is…

plan ahead! This way i’m not isolating myself from my family and friends while also keeping my goals front and center because if I don’t reach my goals then who will?

So today, remember you are not like everybody else, you can’t eat and drink like them. If you plan to be social and go to a cookout….

1. Eat before you go- Chances are if you’ve had a salad with some protien you won’t pile on your plate because you’ve already eaten.

2. Choose the smallest plate there- use the salad plate as your main plate, if you know potato salad is your favorite cookout food, get a little bit AFTER you’ve filled your plate with veggies and if you’re having the burger or hot dog, do without the bun. You can still have fun without the bun hun lol!

3. I know times are hard, but don’t take food home- listen, I know you may not have had big mommas baked beans since Christmas but ask yourself do you really need to eat this cookout food for the next three days. Pass up on the offer of taking multiple plates home unless it’s something you can use towards your diet. Like grilled chicken or grilled veggies.

4. Pass up on alcohol.  Need I say why? Those calories will pack on you so quick your head will spin! I always gained an additional 5-10 pounds just drinking socially. It’s not work it at all!

Be strong my little warrior, also, don’t be afraid to say no when offered more food and who cares what other people think! You got goals and it’s up to you stick to them!

Take care,

BK

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